Aircraft Recognition No. 6, Vol. 1

Mobility i n^R A N SPORT AEROPLANES are becoming of increas- JL ing importance as essentials of modern military strategy. One third of America's production of multi-motor aircraft is now devoted to transport aeroplanes for the United Nations the production of the Avro York transport for the R.A.F. was mentioned recently Germany has been building Ju 52/3m troop and freight carriers for the past ten years. In all, some forty different types of multi-motor air transports are in service—presenting many new prob­lems in aircraft recognition. The purpose of the transport aeroplane in war is three­fold. First, it has to supply advanced forces—whether they be nations or armies—with all the essentials of life. Secondly, it has to render Air Forces mobile by moving ground crews and all the paraphernalia for maintenance and repair from one airbase to another. Thirdly, it has to act as a carrier for air-borne infantry or parachute troops for surprise attacks or diversionary operations. Already in this War we have seen air transports exploited to the full. The Germans achieved a great tactical success in Norway on April 9,1940, when Junkers 52/3ms were landed at many points in great numbers to overwhelm opposition before the Norwegians realised they were at war. That was an example of the use of air-borne infantry. \gainst Holland on May 10,1940, the transport was put to a different use—the carriage of parachute troops. Tactical su 'prise was achieved once more—as it was a year later in the capture of Crete from the air. AXIS FORMAT ION —Savoia-M archetti S.M .82 Canguru bomber- transports of the Regia Aeronautica Hying over the Mediterranean. These aeroplanes, which have a large capacity and can transport up to 600 gallons of fuel, have been used in supplying Tunisia. AFRICAN TRAN SPORT— M any Lockheed Lodestars have been used in the recent campaigns in NortluAfrica for upbringing supplies to the rapidly advancing troops. Several versions are used by the U.S. Army. THE EXPANSION O F PRODUCTION PROGRAMMES BRINGS the:—n Air WOO DEN W ALLS—The de I lavilland Albatross was built as a high- efficiency Atlantic m ail-carrier and later, in modified form, Hew on the London-Paris air route. Several are instill service with the R.A.F. The air transport assumed a different role in the Winter of 1941 when the enemy used multitudes of Junkers Ju 52/3ms to supply the German 16th Army surrounded at Staraya Russa. In six months the Russians claimed to have destroyed more than 600 of these machines in the air and on the ground, but they achieved their purpose. Up till the beginning of 1942 the enemy possessed nearly all the transport aircraft available for military purposes. Since America’s entry into the War the position has changed. The success of the Allied landings in Algeria owed something to the use of numbers of Douglas Dakota air transports —better known in civil life as DC-3s. Similarly, the advance by the Eighth Army into Tripolitania could not have been made with anything like the speed had not British and American air transports—an assorted collection of Bom- bays, Lodestars, Dakotas, and even Wellingtons— brought up fuel for the tanks, water for the crews, spare parts, medical comforts, and a thousand-and-one other necessities. In the operations to come the transport aeroplane is certain to play a commanding part. Four distinct forms of air transport are now coming into service. There is first and foremost the aeroplane designed for the job—the pukka passenger or freight carrier with a commodious fuselage and no military appliances. Such a machine, of which the Ensign, the Stratoliner and the Commando are examples, is by far the most satisfactory and economic type to operate. 104
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